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Betfair Steeple Chase (Registered As The Lancashire Chase) (Grade 1)

  • 15:00
  • Haydock
3m 24y

Race Preview

Betfair Chase tips for Satuday 25th November’s Grade 1 race. The opening contest of the jumping triple crown, a million pound bonus is up for grabs if a horse can win this contest, the King George and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Will that on offer we are surely in for a deep field. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.

This has long been the starting target this season for Gold Cup winner Sizing John. He finally fulfilled the potential when stepped up to three miles last season, benefitting in part from not having to chase home Douvan. There will be no issues with regards to his fitness for this test given that connections are plotting this route. To win the bonus in a deep field, he is going to have to be on top of his game at the first time of asking so he will be spot on. That clearly makes him the one that the field have to beat, the winner of all three Grade 1 contests he has run in since stepping up to three miles plus, he should make it four here before setting his sights on Kempton at Christmas.

One could argue that with Coneygree pulling up and Cue Card once more hitting the deck that the Charlie Hall Chase fell apart somewhat around Bristol De Mai’s ears. That would be rather harsh on Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge however, having to dig deep on his seasonal return to beat his stablemate Blaklion who as a former RSA winner and Grand National fourth is no mug himself, especially in receipt of six pounds. It’s fair to say that a trip to Haydock is a huge positive for Bristol De Mai, a wide margin winner on both of his trips to the track, the latest when ripping apart what had looked like a competitive Grade 2 handicap by twenty-two lengths. He has the benefit of a pipe opener which Sizing John won’t plus the track experience, he is by far the biggest danger to the favourite.

Cue Card was never really travelling with his usual fluency even before coming down in the Charlie Hall, turned over in that race in 2016 as well before heading to his contest to land his third Betfair Chase. It could be that as he has got older he needs a run just to get himself into top gear but having fallen on two of his last three outings and three of his last ten having never previous ln fallen in his career it must be taken as a concern for the old stager. Given that he is a triple winner of the race, it would be foolhardy for anyone to completely write him off just yet but with younger rivals in opposition, even at an each way price, he is hard to be confident about.

It was a well deserved triumph at the top table when Tea For Two landed the Betway Bowl at Aintree, getting the better of Cue Card. He was disappointing when well beaten in the Old Roan Chase back at that same track last month but the last couple of seasons he has taken a couple of runs before he has hit his peak so it’s best not to take the run too literally. It’s his lack of consistency that has held him back from receiving more consideration when running at this level, but having finally shaken the left handed monkey off his back when winning at Aintree, he may have grown up enough to make his presence felt.

With Might Bite heading to Sandown for his season opener rather than here, it opens the door for Whisper to represent Nicky Henderson instead. It was he who nearly capitalised on the waywardness of the first named in the RSA chase at the Cheltenham Festival before again finishing runner-up to his stablemate at Aintree. He has never looked the most natural chaser but his sheer class has seen him through his contests when his jumping has let him down. Rated as high as 167 over hurdles, he is a class act and in a field of eight runners, he may represent a sound each way option if the ground comes up suitable for him.